The Truth Behind Trading Semiconductor (Chip) Stocks

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The Truth Behind Trading Semiconductor (Chip) Stocks

Semiconductor firms provide a plethora of highly liquid assets that stimulate risk-taking across all time periods, from instantaneous scalping to monthly market timing. Profit tactics supported by the industry include momentum trading, basket allocations, and short selling. In many market phases, it behaves autonomously, going its own way as big indexes push up or down. Even in severe macroeconomic times, this different conduct opens up new options. There are several strategies to trade the semiconductor industry, ranging from picking specific equities to investing in the sector as a whole through exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Currency exchange rates (forex) have an influence on broad sector performance, with just two of the top five most capitalized components being in the US: Intel (INTC) and Texas Instruments (TXN).Furthermore, a high US currency hurts semiconductor companies with significant international operations by making their goods less competitively priced. This is particularly true in established sub-sectors with smaller profit margins, such as memory chips and electronics used in audio components. Tariffs on Chinese exports to the United States are also a source of worry for investors in semiconductors when some components or assembly processes are outsourced.

Finding the Best Chip Trade


Name (Symbol)Jan. 2022 Market Cap ($ billions)
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)673.55
Intel Corp (INTC)226.53
Texas Instruments Inc (TXN)172.71
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)165.3
Applied Materials Inc (AMAT) 148.38
Micron Technology Inc (MU)109.02
Marvell Technology Group (MRVL)70.04

Stocks of various market capitalization levels may provide strong trading opportunities, but most market participants stay with the most prominent names, betting on whether the Nasdaq 100 is leading or behind. American semiconductor blue-chip businesses have a higher effect on that index than on the S&P500, where they have dual listings. When stock performance diverges substantially from index performance, these cross-market relationships promote a range of contrarian techniques.

  Using Bollinger Bands to Gauge Trends

Because they often have the biggest growth potential, mid and small-cap semiconductors produce a consistent supply of momentum and trend following bets. Finding these hot bets necessitates a database that is sorted first by capitalization and then by performance, searching for the most significant uptrends in technical techniques and the quickest revenue growth in fundamental strategies. The $500 million to $2 billion capitalization zone is an ideal subject for weekend research and preparation for young enterprises that have yet to draw significant public attention.

The Truth Behind Trading Semiconductor Chip Stocks

Semiconductor ETFs


Name (Symbol)Avg Volume
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (SOXS)53,824,000
Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (SOXL)23,881,000
VanEck Semiconductor ETF (SMH)5,864,000
iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX)1,134,000
ProShares Ultra Semiconductors (USD)115,832
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (XSD)81,953
Invesco Dynamic Semiconductors Portfolio (PSI)41,822
ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors (SSG)10,998

The oldest sector exchange-traded fund, Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH), gets the highest activity, with the younger iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) offering direct competition. SOXX has a larger expenditure ratio, more assets, and covers a bigger fraction of the market in a normal trading day than SMH. SMH has a narrower bid-ask spread, which helps price sensitive swing trading techniques, but SOXX has a larger spread, which helps greater risk momentum trading strategies. In addition, SMH has the most open interest in its listed options when compared to its rivals.

Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (SOXL) and Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (SOXS) provide aggressive investors with much more sector leverage, albeit at the expense of increased risk and higher fees. These securities are intended to provide three times the return of a conventional sector index. This works well for long-term bets, but intraday returns may fluctuate substantially owing to a periodic calculation of relative value, resulting in chaotic late-day price movement that deviates drastically from a non-leveraged sector ETF.

  Overtrading Definition

An ETF Trading Example

Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia2021

Here is a chart of the iShares PHLX SOX Semiconductor Sector Index Fund (SOXX) from the end of 2008 to the beginning of 2009. As seen in the chart above, SOXX shares surpassed the September high (blue line) in November and reached an all-time high of 96.03 in December. It fell into February in a bull flag pattern (red lines), testing support at the breakout level and the 50-day EMA. The Nasdaq100 climbed more than 1.3% on February 10 (black arrow) in response to encouraging international news. This fared better than the S&P 500 and other large-cap indexes. Semiconductors are driving the tech rally, with SOXX surging more than 3% and breaking out of the flag pattern, signaling a big buy signal.

The Bottom Line

The largest basket of technology businesses listed on US markets is represented by chip stocks. Major differences between sub-components provide an infinite number of trading and investing possibilities due to diverse market circumstances. Semiconductor ETFs are another excellent option to obtain exposure to the industry.

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